It was windy. From the moment the 12th man flag was raised by a fellow Olympia native it was flapping beautifully in the misty breeze at Centurylink this afternoon. Like the fans it represents are relentless in their boisterous cheering for our beloved Seahawks, the flag tonight never relented in its waving against the cool breeze.
I've been to many games. The atmosphere at that stadium cannot be captured adequately in words. It is easy to take for granted sometimes. Today I took a moment and reflected a bit while looking at the flag waving there. Being able to attend an event like this even once let Alone many times is truly a blessing.
Few things can get me up early and this is one of the few. I started my day early and ventured out at 7am, we arrived at the Lakewood 512 park and ride to take sound transit up to Seattle. We had just enough time to grab a quick bite to eat before our bus arrived. I groggily looked out the window as the bumps and sounds of the bus prevented me from falling asleep. After a few stops in Tacoma we found ourselves surrounded with fellow Hawk fans all geared up and eager to get another chance to see them in person. Then we were off to Seattle and after a couple short stops on the way to the stadium we had finally arrived.
We arrived around 9:15 and headed to the stadium. Walking along a sea of blues and greens and whites. We made our way along the west side of the stadium and took in the sites and smells of the area. A variety of undoubtedly greasy yet delicious food adorned the path along with 12 man tailgaters, team shops and locals all turned out to celebrate the Seahawks. The Seahawks were doing the salute to service so there were many in uniform there as well. We made our way to the pro shop so my girlfriend could satisfy her shopping hunger and after that was finished we waited outside the WaMu Theatre for Touchdown City to open up. After standing in the cold for awhile we had finally gotten inside and could enjoy the pre game festivities. We made it a point to enter the contests and get all the freebies they pass out and settled down to watch Blue Thunder perform. The Drummers playing in perfect sync are a nice warm up for the excitement to come, we met up with some friends who were experiencing their first ever seahawks game, and we knew they would be hooked after what they were about to witness.
After a quick face paint the doors opened up and we were on our way, getting in early and watching the team warm up. Percy harvin took the field to a loud ovation and I would finally get to see what the hype was about. He sprinted down field and caught a long pass and I have to say the rumors are true about his speed. He is very fast. We watched intently while chatting with those who sat next to us and texting to brag to friends all while waiting for the game to start. 3 young men sat infront of us, one wearing a Vikings jersey. I prayed he would be a decent guy and he seemed alright but the game had yet to begin. The salute to service was pretty impressive, there was a field sized flag that spread across the field but the national anthem was so so. The 12th flag was raised and kickoff had begun! Boy was there alot of excitement and a surprising amount of Vikings fans in the stands considering how their season was going. We jumped out 3-0 and after a couple of defensive exchanged they got a gifted PI which allowed them to tie. Our Oline looked a bit rusty at times as our run game was not going far but soon russell moved us down and The crowd willed Beast Mode into the end zone to make it 10-3. I pit didn't take long. In probably the lowest point of the game Sherman got beat for a touchdown for a tie. From there it was all Seahawks. A couple rows infront of us was a very enthusiastic seahawks fan who quite obnoxiously taunted the Vikings guy infront if me every time something bad happened to his team, towards the end of the game I felt rather sorry for him and embarrassed for the guy. The guy wasent belligerent just obnoxious. Since we get free stuff for seahawks accomplishments such as a haircut when the defense scores I attempted to soften the blow during Thurmond's pick 6 by telling the Vikings guy that at least he'd get a free haircut. He smiled and removed his hat to show me his bald head and I shrank back in my chair. I tried! He was good natured though. My second favorite part of the Seahawks Experience is giving a high five to a total stranger, the air is so electric you cannot help but get caught in the moment and scream and high five those around you there is such a feeling if love and bonding with fans I have never got at any other sporting event. The game wound down and sure enough as the route was on so was the exodus to beat the traffic... Not this hawks fan. I pay good money for my tickets and stay to the last second even if I am only rooting for Tavaris and Christine Michael at that point. The game finally finished and we met up with our friends to debrief. As expected they were ready for more! The look of excitement on their faces and craving for that experience again brought memories of my first time there, you always remember the first time you see it and it was clear they would never forget. My favorite part came next. It's that love and bonding thing again but more in a larger sense. Walking out of nearly every winning game the crowd inevitably breaks out the chant of Sea-Hawks! Tonight it was loud and proud and gives you chills as you make your way back.
I love this experience. Anyone who has the means and is a die hard Seahawks Fan needs to make the trip if you haven't already, you will be glad you did.